Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep ★★★★

80

An often repeated composition in Mike Flanagan's Doctor Sleep adaptation is the chilling image of a person greeting the decaying, cackling 'room 237' spirit from Kubrick's film in a bathroom far away from the Overlook Hotel, shutting the door behind them in an effort to confront the evil head-on. Whereas Kubrick's film often revealed ghosts as totems of existential memory and the pains of being alive ("great party, isn't it?"), it is the reconciliation between King's overt mythology and Kubrick's image-making that Flanagan finds the courage to face the fear within us all. His often ruthless scare tactics are ultimately in service of never being afraid of anything except the inevitable - a hopeful, often melancholic gesture. Doctor Sleep then concludes as a grand horror epic, never losing sight of its characters even in a final stretch of familiar iconography and callbacks. I'm surprised this was made, but I'm even happier that it exists.

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